[INTERVIEW] "Earleâs Post-Prison Playdate" Goes Viral, Sparks Debate
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material calls for. Pernell and Richard together were amazing. They had an amazing rehearsal process that kind of lead up to that final scene where she asked him to get tested. We did some improvisation. I had them write letters to each other. It was an amazing process. We actually walked through the number of sexual situations in the film and it was great.

EBONY: If you could have viewers walk away with one thing in mind after watching you film, what would that be?

OBC: A fictional character gets to pay the cost for choices people are making out in the real world. They can look at that and see the lesson of Vanessa’s life and her choice and potentially make some better choices for themselves. I think that is ultimately one of the greatest things that films can offer us.

EBONY: “Earle’s Post-Prison Playdate” walks the fine line between advocacy and art. What advice would you give to other filmmakers eager to explore that type of work, yet unsure of how to navigate between the two genres?

OBC: Artists that want to be socially conscious or make political statements should know that is not mutually exclusive to entertaining people or stimulating people to discussion. There are a lot of filmmakers who have done that well. It’s not an impossible thing to do. It’s really about your commitment.

Trusting the gut is what has always given me confidence. My mother used to say “Please yourself because it’s impossible to please everybody.” I actually ultimately end up making my films for myself, because if I can watch it multiple times, or if I can get something out of it, I think I got a winner. So I would say, develop good taste and then follow the vision of that taste. You have to have a vision for yourself as a storyteller and make the movies that you want to see. If you want to see it and the people that you know want to see it that means that there’s an audience for it.

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